Former Margate player among group of footballers sentenced over cocaine operation

Melchi Emanuel-Williamson, was jailed for 21 years and six months reduced to 14 years

A former football player who made a brief appearance on the field for Margate FC in 2013/14 is among a group of semi-pro footballers sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court this month after Met Police detectives dismantled a drugs network.

Melchi Emanuel-Williamson, 29,  is one of six semi-pro footballers who conspired to supply cocaine with an estimated street value of £208 – £260m.

The group were sentenced to over 104 years in total at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 17 May having all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to supply controlled class A drugs (cocaine) and conspiracy to supply controlled class B drugs (ketamine).

They are:

  • Former Enfield Town defender Adam Pepara, 35, of Wharf Lane, Solihull – jailed for 29 years reduced to 24 years
  • Former Chesham United forward Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick, 29, of Delgarno Gardens, North Kensington – jailed for 26 years and six months reduced to 18 years and nine months
  • Former FK Senica player Jamarl Joseph, 28, of Lily Gardens, Wembley – jailed for 26 years and six months reduced to 17 years and six months
  • Former Harrow Borough player Andrew Harewood, 34, of Woodhurst Road, North Acton – jailed for 24 years and six months reduced to 16 years and one month
  • Former Margate FC Melchi Emanuel-Williamson, 29, of Wesley Avenue, North Acton – jailed for 21 years and six months reduced to 14 years
  • Luke Skeete, 36, of Evergreen Drive, West Drayton – jailed for 22 years and six months reduced to 13 years and one month

Police Constable Perry, from Specialist Crime North, said: “The operation we’ve dismantled here is not some minor undertaking, involving a group of chancers – this is a highly organised criminal group who were supplying drugs on an industrial scale throughout the UK.

“The sentences received reflect the gravity of what they had been doing. This is a criminal group who had otherwise promising careers – semi-pro footballers with other jobs and courses they were undertaking – but they were motivated by making money from drugs that fuel misery and violence on our streets.

“Anyone else wondering if they can make cash from this type of activity should take a look at these sentences and think again, because it’s only a matter of time before you are caught.”

Skeete had previously been jailed for 15 years at the same court in July 2023 having pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs (cocaine), possession with intent to supply class B drugs (ketamine), supplying cocaine, and driving while disqualified.

He had been stopped by police in October 2022 as he drove a small panel van. When officers searched it they found 8kg of cocaine in the rear of the vehicle.

A video recovered from a car involved in a deal showed Skeete parking up in his white van and passing over a holdall of drugs.

Skeete was arrested and a further 123kg of cocaine and 224kg of ketamine was recovered from storage units in west London he had control of.

During the course of this investigation Skeete’s phone was seized and sent for specialist interrogation.

On it officers found a secure messaging platform and began examining the users.

They found each had an individual handle to conceal their true identities and evade police, but after painstaking work they were identified.

The group chats demonstrated and evidenced a sophisticated, professional business model the group were operating to supply cocaine through the UK.

Detectives spent countless hours examining CCTV which showed the gang coming and going from the storage unit with drugs concealed in holdalls and boxes.

It was found that between 10 April 2022 and 20 October 2022, they had all conspired to supply in excess of 2.7tonnes of high grade cocaine with an estimated street value of £208,160,000 to £260,200,000.

On 28 September 2023, Specialist Crime officers carried out arrest warrants at addresses linked to the group in London and Birmingham

All of the individuals in question were located arrested, charged and remanded in custody.

6 Comments

  1. His defunct Companies House business description sure is accurate.

    Nature of business (SIC)

    46190 – Agents involved in the sale of a variety of goods

    46499 – Wholesale of household goods (other than musical instruments) not elsewhere classified

    46900 – Non-specialised wholesale trade

  2. I’m assuming Barbara is also an alias of prime dullard Pete? Glad these guys went down for so long. Unsurprising, retrograde views highlighting their names and implying the colour of their skin informed their actions.

    • (a) I’m not Barbara.

      (b) You mentioned his colour, not me. He simply looks like a wrong ‘un, regardless of colour and/or name.

      (c) He’s also pig ugly!

  3. Couldn’t resist it Barbara, but that’s a lovely English-sounding name you’ve got. You must be a proper sort of person. Here’s the definition of your name: “Meaning:Foreign; Strange. Barbara is a feminine name of Greek origin which means “foreign” or “strange,” derived from the Greek word barbaros of the same meaning.” This gave me a little joy.

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